Carleton 8, St. Olaf 1 (box)

Carleton hands Ole women first loss of spring

Michael Abdella
April 12, 2012

NORTHFIELD, Minn.- In a MIAC match between regionally ranked schools and cross-town rivals, the Carleton Knights handed the St. Olaf women's tennis team an 8-1 loss, the team's first of the spring on Thursday afternoon at Bell Field Tennis Courts.

Coming into the match, the Oles were ranked 12th in the region, while the Knights were ranked fifth in the region and 25th nationally. The rankings held on Thursday, as Carleton topped St. Olaf for the fourth straight year.

The lone win for the Oles came at second singles, where Caitlin Harper defeated Bridget Doyle, ranked 21st regionally, 6-3, 5-7, 11-9. Harper was poised to win the match in straight sets, leading by a set and a break but Doyle broke back late in the second set, after saving a match point, to force a super-tiebreaker. Harper controlled the opening stages of the super-tiebreaker and took a 5-1 lead. However, Doyle battled back to tie the score at 7-7. Doyle then claimed a 9-7 advantage after back-to-back Harper shots hit the tape and did not go over. However, Harper won the final four points of the match to earn her eighth win in a row.

Carleton won the other five singles matches all in straight sets. At number one singles, Kathryn Schmidt demonstrated why she is ranked third regionally by defeating Christine Muller 6-0, 6-1 for her sixth win in a row. Julia Ellis won the first three games of her match against Anne Lombardi but suffered a 6-4, 6-4 defeat after Lombardi broke Ellis' serve in the final game. The win was Lombardi's eighth straight win and 15th in 17 dual matches this spring. Kristi Kroker and Lizzie Carlson each won four games against their Carleton foes at fourth and sixth singles, while Molly Hemes defeated Erin Hynes 6-0, 6-3 at fifth singles.

The Knights also swept the three doubles matches, behind wins from two regionally-ranked duos. The tenth-ranked pairing of Schmidt and Erin Gudul defeated Muller and Harper 8-2 after the Ole duo started strongly. Fifteenth-ranked Doyle and Lombardi shut out Kroker and Ellis 8-0 at second doubles. Lizzy Eggert and Andrea Jumes also fell to Hemes and Katherine Greenberg 8-4.

With the win, Carleton became the first MIAC school to clinch a spot in the playoffs later this spring. The Knights improve to 12-5, 7-0 in the conference. St. Olaf is now 8-1, 5-1 in MIAC play. Next up for the Oles is a trip to St. Paul to face the University of St. Thomas on Saturday morning at 10:30. The Tommies are 10-4, 6-1 in the MIAC.

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